September 2020 Client Newsletter

Here’s our September 2020 client newsletter.

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After a Disaster- Call the Pros

Fire and flood restoration methods use advanced equipment and techniques. Although homeowners can do some of these methods, the importance of the order in which they are done, as well as the fact that many different things should happen at once to maximize restoration efforts, makes this job one that you should leave for the pros. A fire or flood can change your home drastically and response time is critical.

In order to prevent widespread secondary water damage, you must act within 24 hours of a fire or flood. This secondary damage manifests as mold or mildew that grows in damp areas, and has the potential to cause up to as much if not more damage than the original fire or flood does. In addition, there are several other issues that you must attend to immediately following a fire or flood, which makes it difficult to address any one issue adequately.

With a professional company experienced in fire and flood restoration, you can be sure that they have the available labor to address every pertinent issue that may arise, while at the same time safeguarding your belongings from further damage. Also, fire and flood restoration can be dangerous.

There are many dangerous aspects to restoring your home after a fire or flood. You are at risk of electric shock if there is standing water. You must move your possessions many times during the restoration process, which can be doubly dangerous: once because the wet floors can create a slippery area and twice because heavy things get heavier when they are wet.

You should hire professionals for these tasks, as they have the knowledge and expertise to make your home safe again. To accomplish successful fire and flood restoration, it requires special equipment. There are some pieces of equipment that homeowners just do not have access too, like HEPA system air scrubbers or negative air machines to remove mold, dust, microbes, and other dangerous air particles.

In addition, there are parts of your home that you probably cannot and should not clean, such as your HVAC system. During a fire, soot and other airborne debris become stuck in the HVAC system and it requires special tools and training to repair it effectively and ensure the unit is safe, ready to run and will not be recirculating dangerous air particles in your home.

Although hiring a professional fire and flood restoration company is ultimately more costly, the money is well spent. They prevent additional damage to your home, which will not only prevent the inconvenience of having additional repairs but also help protect the health of your family. Working with your insurance provider and a professional restorer will result in the easiest, most effective, and safest way to restore your home to its former state after a fire or flood for you and your family.

Contact Professional Carpet Systems today for more tips, help

August 2020 Client Newsletter

Here’s our August 2020 Client Newsletter.

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Dealing with Pet Accidents

Whether it’s chewing, begging, or jumping, our pets’ actions are a part of their unique personalities, for better or worse. However, there is one undesirable habit that most pet owners would agree causes the most embarrassment: urine. To animals, urine is an important social tool, used as a calling card, mate attractant or a territorial warning. To us, it is odor and stain.

If you are lucky enough to catch the animal in the act, you can pour salt liberally onto the deposit while it is still wet. Use enough salt to completely cover the spot. The salt will absorb the urine. Let it dry and simply vacuum it away. But most animals are secretive about peeing on the carpet; most of the time it is dry by the time you discover it. Single, light urine deposits may be treated by applying a neutral carpet cleaning agent, gentle agitation and a thorough rinse. Finish the job by placing a folded white towel on the area. Set a weight on it and leave overnight; the remaining moisture and residue will wick into the towel.

Once urine has reached the point that it has penetrated the carpet and the cushion, removal of the odor becomes more difficult. Most cleaning and deodorizing methods are designed to treat the carpet face fibers, not the carpet backing and cushion. If you don’t get out all of the urine, changes in humidity and temperature will result in reactivation and the odor will eventually return. Due to the chemistry of urine, old, heavy deposits are much more difficult to treat and you will need the help of a professional. Why? Because urine undergoes a dramatic chemical change as it ages.

The water in the urine evaporates leaving behind organic compounds that become more concentrated. Bacteria begin to consume the urine, breaking down the proteins, sugars and other organic compounds. Once the contamination has reached this point, it also becomes a potential health threat to humans. During the process of bacterial digestion the bacteria secrete ammonia and a strong, pungent odor develops. The urine turns from a mild acid to a strong alkali. This strong alkaline deposit attacks the dyes in some carpets. Over time, the dyes can be weakened causing permanent color loss and yellowing. The adhesives used in the carpet backing can be dissolved, and the carpet can literally fall apart. Permanent damage to wood subfloors will also result from deep penetration of concentrated urine deposits, requiring additional repairs.

Acidic cleaning agents neutralize alkaline residues and make the urine deposits easier to remove during normal cleaning. One urine contamination treatment available contains an enzyme called urease which is effective at breaking down the organic components of urine. Pairing agents are specialized deodorizers that bond to odor-causing molecules and create a new odorless or pleasant-smelling molecule. Oxidizers use the power of oxygen to eliminate urine odor and help remove staining. Oxidizers have the additional benefit of killing bacteria and often help in removing the yellow stain. But care is required when using oxidizers since these cleaning agents are not compatible with all types of carpet.

The decision of which method to use will depend on several factors. The amount of contamination present, the depth of penetration, the construction of the carpet, the fiber content, the installation method, the sub-floor type and the size of the affected area must all be considered.

Contact Professional Carpet Systems today for more tips, help or to schedule your next appointment

July 2020 Client Newsletter

Here’s our July 2020 client newsletter.

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What is that Smell?

What’s that smell? We have all had the experience of walking into a room or building only to be greeted by an unpleasant odor. They may range from mildly annoying to downright putrid. Besides being embarrassing, malodors are also a real cause for concern.

Since unpleasant odors are sometimes an indication of a potentially infectious, hazardous or unsanitary condition, the presence of bad odors can induce psychological or emotional stress and even cause physical discomfort. Spraying deodorants and perfumes will simply mask odors temporarily and are not effective for long-term success.

Effectively eliminating odors requires an understanding of the principles of deodorization. The type of odor neutralizer and application process must be chosen based on the source of the odor, type of materials affected and the degree of penetration. To avoid a recurrence of the malodor we suggest using the following procedures:

Step 1: Find and remove the source. Odor is an effect. Since every effect has a cause, our first challenge is to find and remove the cause. If the odor comes from a dead animal, you must find the carcass and remove it. If the odor is from a pet accident, you must first locate the deposit and remove it from the carpet and other surfaces before treating the offending odor. The same applies to odors from smoke, cooking, mold, mildew, etc.

Step 2: Clean the affected area to remove any remaining odor-causing residue. Actually, cleaning is just a continuation of source removal. Start cleaning in the source area and work outward until all residues are removed. Residues can be sticky or oily residues, crystallized materials or dust and soot. The type of residue and the material you are cleaning determines the cleaning method. For instance, removing soot from a concrete block wall requires a different cleaning method than removing the same soot from silk drapes. Depending on the odor, source removal and meticulous cleaning may be all that is required. If not, move on to the next step.

Step 3: Recreate the conditions of penetration. This is where specialized equipment is often required. For instance, if the odor is from smoke, it may have penetrated into wood, fabrics, drywall and may other porous and semi-porous materials. Any deodorizing products must penetrate the materials in the same manner in order to neutralize the odors.

If odors have penetrated into areas that are inaccessible, it may be necessary to use thermal or Ultra Low Volume fogging equipment, oxidation, ozone or dry vapor exchange equipment. Generally, odors caused by liquids such as urine or spoiled milk that have saturated porous materials must be saturated with a suitable odor counter-agent. In most cases, properly applying steps 1 through 3 will achieve the desired results. If there is still an odor proceed to step 4.

Step 4: Seal the affected material. In some cases, odors may have penetrated into materials to the degree that it is impossible or impractical to remove them completely. In these cases it is necessary to apply a topical sealant to encapsulate the odor-causing molecules and prevent them from evaporating into the air. If the molecules can’t reach your nose, you won’t be able to smell them. The type of sealer you choose depends on the type of material, the nature of the odor source and the degree of penetration into the material.

Call Professional Carpet Systems for more tips, help or to schedule your next appointment.


April 2020 Client Newsletter

Here’s our April 2020 Client Newsletter.

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What to do in a FLOOD

Floods happen, everywhere in the country. Water can come from a storm surge, broken pipes, poor landscaping and so much more, and you needn’t live near a dam to be in danger. How you handle a water intrusion usually has to do with the rate at which water enters a structure, the amount of water, the source of the water, and what areas are affected.

In short term water management, slip fall hazards, possible electric shock, biological or toxic contamination and other potential dangers must be considered before you take any action. In cases when there is a large quantity of standing water it is usually safest to turn off the electricity and gas to the structure before you begin any cleanup.

Once you have determined that it is safe to proceed, identify the source of the water, and stop the water intrusion, if possible. If it is from rainwater or other sources beyond your control, take steps to reduce the rate at which it is spreading.

You can do this by placing towels to absorb the water, using a shop vac to extract the water, or even using a push broom or squeegee to push the water outside. If you have them, sandbags can help keep water out as well. The services of a professional restoration company will usually be needed when the water has saturated building materials such as carpet and pad. It is nearly impossible for a homeowner to remove water and dry a structure in a safe and efficient manner.

This is because cleaning companies have the fans, heaters, other equipment and experience to dry water quickly. Often, homeowner attempts at saving money end up costing thousands of dollars later in mold contamination and permanent damage to the structure. Many items in the home that could have been saved by quick response from a professional may have to be discarded, or undergo expensive restoration. Your best course of action in the event of a substantial water intrusion is to ensure the safety of yourself and other inhabitants of the structure.

Then, determine the source of the water, try to stop or slow the entry of water, move furnishings out of the water and call a professional restoration contractor to handle the extraction of water and structural drying. Homeowners’ insurance may or may not cover the damages caused from water intrusion. It depends on your policy and how the water entered.

Many policies do not cover “rising water” from flood conditions unless you have specific flood coverage. Yet, they will usually cover the damage from rainwater that enters the structure from above, as from a hole in the roof. You can get additional insurance to cover flood and other water hazards. Double check your insurance policy or talk to your insurance provider to see what’s covered.

No matter your policy type, most insurance companies will require you to act fast and contact a professional restoration company to minimize damage and reduce the cost of the claim. That’s why, if water intrusion occurs, you should call a trusted restoration company immediately. Fast response and having the right equipment are both critical in getting your home back to a pre-loss condition as quickly as possible.

Our trained and educated team at Professional Carpet Systems are here to help you when the unthinkable happens. Trust the professionals to help you when floods happen.

March 2020 Client Newsletter

Here’s our March 2020 client newsletter.

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Carpet Buckles and Wrinkles?

It happens to old carpet, new carpet, high traffic and low traffic. Sometimes carpet develops ripples or buckles, causing tripping hazards that are dangerous and look terrible. It could happen any time and prevention is the best medicine.

Ripples can occur throughout the life of a carpet. Ripples are small waves that usually appear sometime after the carpet is installed. They can happen in a localized area or throughout the entire room. Installer error is the most common cause. Though ripples can also develop from excessive rolling traffic, improper carpet cushion, delamination of the primary and secondary backings and even some manufacturing defects.

To avoid ripples carpet should be installed using a power stretcher. Too often installers save time by using a knee-kicker. This results in inadequate stretch and the potential for ripples to develop as the carpet relaxes. Ripples also occur to carpet that is not properly acclimated to the environment prior to installation, especially if the carpet is installed in cold weather.

A carpet needs to acclimate to normal room temperature and humidity for at least 48 hours before installation. Wrinkles are usually seen in new carpet immediately after installation. Carpet wrinkles are areas where the carpet has been folded or crushed during storage. Wrinkles not only affect the surface yarns, they go all the way through the carpet backings and may be permanent.

It is best if this condition is identified before the carpet is installed. If possible the wrinkled portion of the carpet roll should not be used. Wrinkles may be improved by steaming and grooming the carpet, but the results will vary based on the type of carpet yarn, backing, and the severity of the wrinkles. Occasionally, carpet will develop ripples immediately after cleaning. This can be quite disturbing to both the homeowner and the cleaner.

The cause is moisture absorption into the adhesive layer between the primary and secondary backings of the carpet. Even though the ripples appear after cleaning, the root cause is improper stretch of the carpet during installation. Usually once the carpet dries completely and acclimates to the normal temperature and humidity of the home the carpet will lie flat again. This can take up to 48 hours, though in rare cases the ripples may persist.

The only way to fix rippled carpet is to re-stretch the carpet. Re-stretching requires training, skill and patience. It is more difficult to re-stretch a carpet than it is to stretch it right the first time. If ripples are ignored for too long, the carpet will develop buckles. Buckles are large ripples that form breaks and/or wrinkles through the face yarns and carpet backing. If buckles are not corrected permanent damage to the texture and structure of the carpet results. Even if the carpet is re-stretched the damage from buckles may still be apparent. So what should you do if your carpet develops ripples? If the carpet is still under warranty, it’s best to contact the installer and the retailer where you purchased the carpet. If you don’t get any help there, the manufacturer would be the next logical step.

You may have to be persistent and patient to get results, so keep track of names, dates, and times of all calls or e-mails. If your carpet is out of warranty and has ripples or buckles, steaming and grooming the pile yarns may help minimize the appearance of the damage.

Call Professional Carpet Systems for recommendations, tips or to schedule your next cleaning


Client Newsletter February 2020

This is our client newsletter for February 2020.

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BREATHE Better Air At Home

When you get home at the end of a busy day, it feels good to take a nice deep breath in anticipation of a quiet evening indoors. That is what home is supposed to be; a refuge from the hectic world outside. But when you take that nice deep breath, do you ever stop to consider the quality of the air in your home?

What is “air”? Air is a mixture of gases that make up Earth’s atmosphere. The part of the atmosphere that contains the right mixture of gases to support life contains nitrogen and oxygen, as well as trace amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, helium, neon and other gases. Air also contains variable amounts of water vapor. We refer to the amount of suspended water vapor as humidity.

Humidity plays an important role in indoor air quality. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends maintaining indoor relative humidity levels between 30% and 50% for human health and comfort.

Excessive humidity can create an environment where microbes can flourish and create unsanitary conditions. In addition, higher humidity can result in condensation of water on surfaces. This can hold soils and organic matter, creating a perfect incubator for mold, which can exacerbate asthma and allergies.

Air suspends particles. Most airborne particles are harmless. However, others can cause problems, particularly for those with asthma, allergies or immune disorders. There are four keys to keeping your indoor air clean and healthy: exclude, capture, clean and control.

Exclude – keep contaminants out. Keeping contaminants out of the home can be challenging because most airborne particles are tiny and can be everywhere. Pollen, carbon, mold spores, organic matter, insect matter, pollution, and plain old dirt enter the home, transported on air currents, clothing and shoes. By keeping doors and windows closed, removing shoes when entering and immediately changing your clothing after dusty activities like yard work, you can reduce the entry of pollutants.

There are other contaminants that originate from within the home. Pet and human dander, food particles, dust mites, cooking gases, sprays, chemicals, cleaning agents and many other particulates combine to reduce overall indoor air quality. That’s why exclusion is only part of the solution.

Capture – filter and contain that which enters. When airborne particles enter your home, they remain suspended for a period of time. Those that are larger or denser drop out of the air and settle on surfaces. Smaller, lighter particles remain suspended longer, and are best removed by air filtration devices and the filter on your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system. Use high quality pleated filters designed for your HVAC.

Clean – remove pollutants from surfaces. Eventually, particles settle on surfaces such as floors, furniture, counters, windowsills, shelves and walls. Vacuuming and dusting remove most of the particles, but make sure that your vacuum cleaner has good filtration also.

Hard surfaces can be cleaned with electrostatic dusters or dust cloths that attract and hold particles, or by wiping hard surfaces with a damp cloth and wet mopping floors. Other surfaces such as carpet, area rugs and upholstery will require periodic professional cleaning to remove accumulated soils and pollutants.

Control – maintain equipment, humidity levels and filters. Proper maintenance is important. Ensure your vacuum, HVAC system, range hood, bathroom exhaust fans and so forth are working optimally. Clean or replace filters regularly. Speaking of filters, carpeting is the largest air filter in most homes because of it’s capacity to capture and hold large amounts of soils and pollutants. Keeping your carpet and upholstery clean is one of the best ways to clear the air in your home.

Call Professional Carpet Systems for more information or to schedule your next service.


January 2020 Client Newsletter

Happy New Year!  Here’s our January 2020 client newsletter.

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Which Vacuum Cleaner is Really BEST?

Hoover, Eureka, Kirby, Dyson, Oreck, Bissel, Electrolux, Rainbow and Miele. Most of these are household names thanks to relentless marketing on TV, in magazines, and at retail stores. There are many more brands of vacuum cleaners besides these. Every one of them wants you to believe that they have the best vacuum cleaner on the market.

There are different styles of vacuum cleaners; upright, canister, backpack and cordless stick-type machines that use a variety of methods to capture particulates. Cyclonic filtration, bags, bagless, HEPA filtration and even filters that utilize water to remove dust particles from the processed air are available.

And those commercials! You’ll see demonstrations of vacuum cleaners picking up everything from Cheerios to bowling balls. But before you buy into the marketing hype, you should know that there is a far more objective way to choose a vacuum cleaner. Since 2005, the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) in cooperation with independent testing laboratories has used technology developed for the NASA space program for testing the effectiveness of vacuum cleaners. The program is called Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval (CRI-SoA).

The CRI-SoA measures 3 important performance aspects of a vacuum cleaner:

Soil Removal Standard — CRI uses NASA-enhanced x-ray fluorescence technology to measure the precise amount of soil removed from carpet. The vacuum cleaner must remove at least 40% of the test soil to be considered for CRI-SOA. Higher soil removal efficiency makes the vacuum cleaner eligible for a higher rating.

Dust Containment Standard — The vacuum must not release more than 100 micrograms of dust particles per cubic meter of air (100 µg/m3), keeping dirt and dust locked tight in the vacuum — not escaping back into the air where it can be inhaled. To achieve Gold rating, the vacuum cleaner must not release more than 35 µg/m3.

Texture Protection Standard — The vacuum must not affect the texture of the carpet after 900 passes. If the roller brush or beater bar is too aggressive, permanent damage can occur. If the vacuum cleaner fails to pass this test, it will not be considered for the CRI-SOA program.

The results of this testing are available online at the CRI website ( Some of the other considerations are the style of the vacuum cleaner that best suits your needs. Dual-motor uprights with on-board attachments are the most popular because they offer the most versatility, but they can be somewhat heavy to use. Canister vacuums usually have better suction and can be easier to use, but they are not as easy to store. Pulling the canister behind you might be a bit of a pain in larger homes.

Bagless machines generally do not retain particles as well as machines with bags. The quality of the bag is also important; some bags filter better than others. Then there is additional filtration with many models boasting HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration. HEPA filters remove 99.97% of all particles at .3 microns. Air that passes through the HEPA filter has been effectively cleaned of particles that can aggravate respiratory symptoms from allergies and asthma.

In order to get the best performance out of your vacuum cleaner, replace bags and filters according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Replace belts and roller brushes or beater bars when they become worn. Every year or two, have your vacuum cleaner serviced by a qualified technician so that you can keep getting the most out of your carpet investment.

Call Professional Carpet Systems for more tips, recommendations or to schedule your next cleaning.

December 2019 Client Newsletter

Here’s our December 2019 Client Newsletter.

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Don’t Let Water Damage Ruin Your Holidays

1 in 4 families will experience some type of property damage from plumbing failures and accidents in the next 10 years. Such damage can come from defective plumbing, frozen pipes, malfunctioning appliances or accidentally leaving the water running.

One way or another chances are good that you or someone you know will be living with the pain of water damage in the not-too-distant future. Such water damage can leave you with a messy carpet, moldy furniture and more if you are not prepared.

Regardless of where the water originates, water intrusion can cause significant property damage, so it is important to act fast to minimize the damage. When you call a reputable cleaning company after a flood they will take 3 major factors into consideration to develop the appropriate cleaning plan:

An experienced cleaning company will look at the amount of damage, considering how much of the structure has been damaged. This is determined during a detailed inspection by a professional restoration technician because water migrates to inaccessible areas within the structure, requiring specialized knowledge and equipment to find out where the water is. Failure to locate hidden pockets of moisture can lead to further structural damage and the potential for lingering odors and mold growth.

A good company will consider the level of contamination, that is where the water came from, how it might be contaminated and how long it sat.

Category 1- Clean water comes from a source such as a broken water pipe, water heater or a sink overflow.

Category 2- Unsanitary water contains a significant amount of contamination such as soil, household chemicals, or organic material that can provide nourishment for bacteria and fungi. Sources include washing machine or dishwasher overflow, fish tanks, etc.

Category 3- Grossly unsanitary water contains contaminants that can cause disease. The most common source of Category 3 water is backflow from sewer or septic systems, or any water that passes over the ground due to fungi, bacteria, animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers and other potential contaminants.

A reputable company will also look at the depth of penetration, considering how deep water has penetrated into structural materials. Depth of penetration depends on the permeance of affected materials and the length of time the water remained in contact with those materials. Permeance is the ability of water to absorb into or pass through a material.

Drywall is highly permeable, absorbing water easily, while hardwood floors are low-permeance (minimally absorbent). The permeance factor, exposure time and level of contamination in the water, determines what materials can be saved. For example, if drywall is saturated only for a short time and with clean water, it can usually be saved.

However, if drywall is saturated with water from a sewage backflow, it should be removed and replaced. There are different requirements for various materials and the different levels of contamination.

If you consider all of the materials in your home as well as your furnishings, it’s easy to see why water intrusion means that you should call in experts at assessing the damage and tailoring a restoration program to your unique situation. You need technicians who are trained to minimize the damage and protect the health and safety of your family and who will act quickly and efficiently to get your home or business dry and clean, so you can get back to normal quickly.

Call Professional Carpet Systems today to schedule a visit or for more information. Don’t let water damage ruin your holiday season.


November 2019 Client Newsletter

Here’s our November 2019 Client Newsletter.

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Thankful for a HEALTHY Home

Whether you are a new customer of Professional Carpet Systems, or have been a client for years, we’d like to take this time to thank you for your business. We know we are not the only game in town when it comes to keeping your home clean and beautiful. To show our appreciation, we’d like to offer you a few quick tips to have a cleaner, healthier home and save you a few bucks too.

A United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study revealed that carpet actually helps to clean out air in our homes and offices. The carpet acts as a filter, trapping soils, gasses and pollutants such as pet and human dander, pollen, and even air pollution. This is great news since nearly every home in America has wall to wall carpet installed in one or more areas. There are several things that you can do to keep your carpet looking cleaner and help it last longer.

Keep soils out by using walk off mats at entrances and keeping outdoor walkways, stairs and porches clean. Use doormats at all entrances. Don’t wear street shoes in the house. Avoid going barefoot because body oils get on the carpet and attract dirt. Vacuum often, at least once a week. You should vacuum more often if there are pets or small children in the home, or if anyone suffers from asthma.

Promptly attend to any spots or spills. First, blot or scrape up as much of the spill as you can before it dries into the fibers. Then apply a mild spotting agent to the carpet and gently agitate it into the spot with the back of a spoon. Blot with a white towel to absorb the spot and the cleaner. Put a little clear water on the area, agitate again and then blot as dry as possible. If this process doesn’t work, call us.

In addition to controlling soils, vacuuming often and being attentive to spots and spills, you should include professional cleaning followed by application of a fiber protective treatment. Periodic professional cleaning is a major part of an effective carpet and air quality maintenance routine, eliminating the contaminants that build up over time. Of course, every household has its own unique combination of factors such as environment, number of occupants, children, pets, and smoking or non-smoking, etc.

Deep cleaning of your carpets assures your carpets are brought back to a fresh, healthy condition. This is good for your health as well as your wallet.

How so? Clean carpet has the ability to trap and hold airborne contaminants out of the breathing zone. In fact, studies have demonstrated that it takes ten times more wind force to dislodge the dry particulate soils that can trigger allergic reactions from carpet than from hard floor surfaces. That’s because carpet traps and holds contaminants until they are removed by vacuuming and cleaning.

Carpets that are regularly maintained will last much longer because it is the dry, gritty particulate soil and old oxidized stains that cause the permanent damage that makes old carpets look dull and dirty.

Regardless of how neat and tidy you are, there comes a time when you need professional carpet cleaning.

Call Professional Carpet Systems to schedule your next cleaning. You and your family will breathe easier; your carpets will look better and last longer, and your home will remain healthier.

Client Newsletter October 2019

Here’s our client newsletter for October 2019.

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Why is Lead Pain So SCARY?

In previous decades lead was added to paint to improve paint performance, making it more durable, fast drying and long lasting. More than 3 million tons of lead are estimated to remain in homes built before 1978. The older the home, the more likely it is to contain lead paint and the higher the lead content of that paint will be. In 1978 lead paint was banned from use in homes, primarily because of the dangers of lead poisoning to children.

Why are children at risk? Lead danger comes with ingestion. Lead dust can come from deteriorating paint, aggressive surface cleaning or even remodeling activities. Adults are more likely to be exposed to lead dust through inhalation during work activities, but children are more likely to be exposed in the home. Small children tend to put things in their mouths and are at danger for eating lead paint chips or dust. Because this paint tastes sweet children may intentionally put contaminated items into their mouths.

Lead is especially hazardous to children under age 6 whose bodies are rapidly developing. Lead damages the nervous system, slows growth rate and development, damages kidneys and other organs. Symptoms include behavioral problems, such as irritability and shortened attention span, hyperactivity, suppression of appetite, sleep disturbance, hearing impairment, short-term memory loss, and reductions in intelligence. In adults, exposure to lead can cause reproductive problems, high blood pressure, depression and other mood disorders. Exposure to high levels can lead to nausea, flu-like symptoms, body aches, extreme fatigue and in severe cases, coma and even death.

If your home has painted surfaces or furnishings that were painted before 1978 you could have lead. Don’t panic. Your best course of action is to buy test kits in home stores or hire a certified lead paint inspector to test your home.

If you have lead paint, or suspect it, take these steps to reduce your exposure to lead:

Have the items replaced, minimizing dust by using dust control measures, thorough cleaning and proper disposal. Check local regulations to assure compliance. Items that are difficult to remove should be replaced by professionals who will control and contain lead contaminated dust. These companies are trained and certified in Lead Safe Work Practices and will have a certificate to prove it.

Cover the lead-based paint. There are specialized sealants that you can use to encapsulate and control a deteriorating surface. However this is a temporary solution. Eventually the new coating will begin to deteriorate and you could end up right back where you started from.

Remove the contaminated paint. Hire a professional lead paint abatement contractor. It is important that the company you hire be certified to remove lead. Check their credentials and get referrals from people they have worked for recently. Improperly done, lead paint removal can create a great deal of lead-contaminated dust, chips and debris, leaving your home more contaminated than before.

Periodically wet mop and wipe lead contaminated surfaces such as window sills, trim, walls and floors with household cleaning detergent solution or a specialty cleaner designed for lead dust. This is a preventive, ongoing maintenance measure and is not an alternative to replacement or removal.

Be careful when doing any kind of remodeling, painting or renovation. If you suspect lead paint, make sure the professional you hire is certified by the EPA in Lead Safe Work Practices.

Any carpeting and upholstery exposed to lead dust should be professionally cleaned to remove dust and contamination, especially after a renovation or remodeling.

Call Professional Carpet Systems to learn more about how we can help.